Since 2017, the appointment of members of the Appellate Body (‘AB’) of the Dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organisation (‘WTO’) has been blocked by the United States (‘US’). This has disrupted the functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system. The US claims that it has blocked the appointment for serious reasons: the AB…

The strength of any dispute settlement mechanism will depend upon its consistency with the requirements of independence and impartiality. Disclosures made by adjudicators prior to adjudicating a dispute, and challenges raised against adjudicators during the course of dispute settlement, target a perceived absence of independence or impartiality. The purpose of this post is to juxtapose…

Introduction The World Trade Organization (the “WTO”) is at an inflection point. As global dynamics shift, members must consider whether the institution, as it is currently configured, has passed its prime. The success of the WTO to date epitomizes the pinnacle of an apparent ideological consensus. However, the current recession of that consensus is forcing…

1. Complex Multi-faceted Tensions between Japan and Korea A media and geopolitical storm recently erupted after Japan introduced measures affecting exports to the Republic of Korea (Korea). Thunder sounded with Japan’s imposition of certification requirements on three chemicals needed by South Korean companies to make semiconductors, memory chips and displays for consumer electronics (the 4…

Our previous posting set out the background to the current trade tension between Korea and Japan. It outlined the possibility of Japan bringing claims under a 1965 Treaty that purported to settle claims resulting from Japan’s colonisation of Korea, or under two investment treaties, regarding Korean courts recently ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation to…

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was born on January 1, 1995 and its Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) provides a binding means for WTO members to resolve disputes arising under WTO agreements.  This post summarizes WTO DSU dispute settlement and considers, whether in light of recent developments, article 25…

This is one of the five construction arbitration posts, providing the technical discussion from the SCAI, CAM, TILPA conference in Geneva and Mexico City.  The authors include: Ms Almudena Otero De La Vega (on State enterprises) Ms Tanya Landon & Ms Azal Khan (on evidence), Dr Manuel Arrollo (on multiple procedures), Mr Serge Y. Bodart…

In light of the tariffs on steel imposed by the United States of America (“USA”), the Europe Union (“EU”) has threatened to impose tariffs of its own on American goods. Additionally, the EU has also filed a claim against USA at the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”). However, as discussed below, it may be that this…

The recent mention of “judicial economy” in the award in Eli Lilly and Company v. Government of Canada provides an opportunity to consider judicial economy in investor-state arbitration more generally. In its award of March 16, 2017, the Eli Lilly tribunal determined that certain judicial interpretations of Canada’s patent law did not violate the substantive…